Sunday, December 31, 2017
2017 was defined by natural disasters, everything Trump, mass shooting and salacious sexual harassment scandals involving the likes Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly, Matt Lauer, and a cast
of what seemed like thousands in the news and entertainment industry.
Believe it or not, there were some positive stories that inspired many of us during the year.
Here are a few that caught my attention and motivated me to put into words.
Please click on the headline of story to read.
A DAD'S GREATEST CHRISTMAS GIFT Chris Pinder had a successful baseball career but
came up short in his bid to make the Major Leagues. His son, Chad, made it, though, and last
Christmas presented Pops with a gift he'll cherish forever.
MIKE VITI - DEVOTED TO SCHOOL, TEAM AND COUNTRY. During a blistering hot
July afternoon, I traveled to West Point to interview Mike Viti, who is the running backs coach
at the U.S. Military Academy. He played for Army and served the country in Afghanistan. He
also walked across the country to raise awareness Gold Star families. Viti is one amazing person
MY DAD'S BEST FRIEND PASSES AWAY Jack Graham was a man of class, integrity
and honor. I will never forget how he cared for my father when he was battling Alzheimer's
BRIAN BILL AMERICAN HERO. Like Viti, Brian Bill served his country but made the
ultimate sacrifice, killed during a mission in Afghanistan. I remain in awe of the person Brian
KATY SULLIVAN: BLADE RUNNER Katy Sullivan was born without lower legs but that
didn't stop here from representing our country in the Paralympics and setting American records.
LUKE MAYE: THE SON ALSO RISES Mark Maye became a high school football legend
as a quarterback in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the most coveted recruit in the country
but never lived up to the lofty expectations with the Tar Heels. His son did, though, becoming
an instant legend after hitting the shot against Kentucky that sent the Tar Heels into the Final
SUPPORTING GRAHAM HARDEN, LACROSSE LEGEND The small town of New
Canaan, CT. steps up to support Graham Harden who was diagnosed with ALS.
THE BIRTH OF CAFE MARTIN There's a new hot spot in Boston honoring one of its
favorite sons who is battling ALS.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
2017 is finishing strong as the year of sexual harassment. Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly,
Harvey Weinstein, and just about every politician who captured at least a vote somewhere are
tumbling in the news cycle because of their inappropriate behavior.
It's a hyper-sensitive time in workplaces across the country, so much so, that 21st Century Fox
instituted the Fox News Workplace Professionalism and Inclusion Council to ensure a proper workplace environment." In the 21st century, 21st Century Fox has to monitor adults who are
more suited for Romper Room than a newsroom, but hey, that's for another day.
With nearly every company on high-alert for sexual harassment in the workplace and taking
precautions to avoid the multi-million dollars settlements 21st Century Fox has dished out, the
Anaheim Ducks took a plunge into dirty waters.
To help celebrate the NHL's 100th birthday, they produced a video showing one of their players,
Ryan Kesler, walking through the team's offices butt-naked. Oh, they didn't show everything.
A strategically placed black rectangle (digital effect) covered blocked his five-hole. Kesler is
seen strolling past a couple of female workers at their desk.
I'm not sure if the comedic club with Anaheim was trying to one-up the writers on "SNL"
when they showed NFL legend Tom Brady walking around an office in front of women in his underwear, but whatever the case, but their attempt at this type of humor was just plain stupid.
The Ducks social media arm posted it on social media and the video promptly got destroyed.
The first wave of criticism came in as passively as napalm destroying terrain during a war.
As soon as the brilliant folks in Anaheim got wind of it, they hit the delete button on Twitter
and sent out a statement.
"Our tweet posted earlier today was meant to be a lighthearted video celebrating the NHL’s
100th birthday," the apology read. "We realize in retrospect the content of the video may have
been insensitive and we have removed the video and apologize."
I'm neither brilliant nor lacking in sense of humor, but this display for the Ducks is beyond
ridiculous. First of all, it's not even close to being funny. I mean, that's the best these
writers and producers could do for a 100th birthday?
Personally, I'm not easily in offended in world where everyone gets offended when the wind
is blowing north, when the meteorologists said it would go south. But in this hyper-sensitive
society, people that are distributing content across social media need to get a clue. You can't
be posting stuff like the Ducks did - no matter what. It's just a bad look.
The social media department either spent too many hours updating their Facebook
page while the rest of the world was blasted with the sexual harassment in the workplace stories
by the 24-hour news channels OR they just put the 'deaf' in tone deaf.
I'm just curious when they were planning and videotaping this little skit, didn't ANYBODY say,
"Hey, I don't really think this is a good idea."? I mean, this wasn't spontaneous or on live television.
It was planned out and executed.
If this display of stupid happened on the ice, the referees would be forced to give the Ducks
a gross misconduct. They need to sit in the sin-bin and think about this one for a while.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
2.4 mile swim. 112 mile bike. 26.2 mile run. In one day. That's the Ironman.
People often ask me why, as a 50-something, semi-good former athlete, I would put myself
through all that torture just to complete the race. I don't have a single answer for that. I have
many of them.
It's not a bucket list item. As somebody who is on the back nine of life, I can think of many
other fun things to do with the $750 entry fee than grind my way through close to 13 hours
of non-stop action to complete a 140-mile race.
For me, doing the Ironman is an annual celebration of life. It's another opportunity for me to
be thankful that I'm still healthy enough, at my age, to swim, bike, and run.
I don't have anything to prove. I squeezed out every ounce of energy and talent out of myself
in trying to be a success in baseball. I got a scholarship to UNC and played in the Boston Red Sox organization and don't have any regrets. It was a phase in my life that I enjoyed but it has long
Father Time is catching up to me, but doing the Ironman let's him know that running me down,
no matter how slow I may be, won't be all that easy.
People often want to tell me that doing the Ironman "can't be good for the body." Neither is alcohol,
junk food, and staying out all night. I'd rather break down because of over-exercising than over-
indulging in the poisonous things you put in the body.
I don't do the Ironman for the fancy medal awarded upon completion. I usually give the
hardware to my niece or nephew before it has a chance to be draped around my neck.
I do the Ironman to compete against the clock and challenge myself. As far as I'm concerned,
there is nobody else on the course, despite getting clubbed by elbows, arms, and feet during
the 2.4 mile swim.
I compete in the Ironman because I love swimming in open water. There are few things as
exhilarating as navigating your way through a course filled with 2,000 other competitors. You
can't see what's below you and the sight of mountains, trees, and the sunrise can be pretty
I do the Ironman because the energy and vibe of the event is truly incredible. It provides
an adrenaline rush that can last for weeks, as it did when I completed my first Ironman
in Lake Placid at the age of 50.
I love the Ironman because I get an up close and personal look at the human will and spirit
of others. I enjoy hearing their stories, where they are from, and why they do the Ironman. I
really believe anyone can do the Ironman. After all, most of us can run, bike, and swim. The
will to complete it is definitely the key.
I enjoy the mind games that come with completing the event. It truly is an oddesey for themind, which often tells you to quit and go home for good. I tried to quit forever after
completing my second Ironman in 2016.
Almost as soon as I crossed the finish line, I made a b-line to the pizza tent and finished
off an entire pie and then some. I announced my retirement to no one in particular and
didn't work out a single time for the next seven months.
But the Ironman sucked me back in. I couldn't do without it. Oh, it's not an addiction,
trust me. I'm not obsessive about it and have never followed a routine, hired a coach, or
watched every little thing that goes into my body. If I felt like doing a 100-mile bike, I
would do it. If I had a 10-mile run in me, I'd bust it, too. I've alway trained by 'feel' and made
sure not to overtrain or abuse my body.
I signed up with the Ironman in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec just under four months before
the race. I completed it for my fourth career Ironman.
This June, I'll travel to Boulder, Colorado for my fifth Ironman. Can't wait. The Ironman
doesn't consume me, but it is very much a part of me. And I love it.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
You know what happens if you play a song too many times? Yeah, it gets stale, even boring.
That's what I feel like when I see professional athletes being honored at the White House after
winning a world championship. It's become like a broken record playing over and over again
and over again.
Oh, it used to be cool. So cool that Sports Illustrated, when the magazine itself was cool,
would feature the ceremony in some form on its cover. SportsCenter made a big deal out
of it and kids everywhere once dreamed of shaking hands with the president after hoisting
the Lombardi Trophy.
Now, it's become somewhat of a nightmare. Millionaire professional athletes, many of whom
were/are coddled through their entire careers don't want to go, whether to make a political
statement or just because it's one big hassle.
"You mean I have to fly all the way across the country to meet the president for five minutes?
Screw that!"--(Said no one ever, but thought of by 99.9 percent of today's professional athletes)
Recently, basketball star Steph Curry indicated he didn't want to go to the White House
with the World Champion Golden State Warriors to be honored by President Trump. Like
many African-Americans, Curry doesn't approve of Trump's ideology and beliefs, and quite
frankly, thinks he's a racist. With the rhetoric Trump has used in the past, I can see how
that would make any person of color uncomfortable. I get it.
And Trump being his Trump-Twittering self, responded swiftly to Curry in less than
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry
is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!
That opened the door for the King, Lebron James, who couldn't wait to pounce on the Donald, tweeting:
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to
White House was a great honor until you showed up!
Good, lord, can we make a reality show with all these guys included?! These are grown men?
Role models? A president of the United States? Seriously?
I've long thought that while many of us graduate elementary school, there are some that just
can't get it out of their system. This fortifies that belief.
Children being children before they even meet on the most famous front lawn in America.
Tim Thomas, who helped lead the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup title, refused to show up
with the rest of the team to meet President Obama. The Vezina Trophy-winning goal posted
his explanation for his no-show on Facebook instead of Twitter.
I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties,
and Property of the People," the message read. "This is being done at the Executive,
Legislative,and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right
as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House.
As I've heard so often over the last few days, everybody has the right to their opinion.
But does everything have to have a friggin' side show these days? Why does every person
have to attempt to go viral, be trending, or get a million likes by doing something controversial?
Can't anybody be the bigger person and just roll with it? Keep the mouth shut and not be
a distraction? I know, I know. I'm not supposed to tell or suggest anything for anybody to do
or not do. I reckon I have to be a little more PC because somebody, somewhere is sure to be
With all that said, I think it's time to end the nonsense with professional athletes and teams
going to the White House. Most of them don't want to be there anyway. The media wants to
turn a little mole hill into Mount Everest with really stupid questions. Instead of asking players
how they feel about winning championship, the first question now seems to be, "Are you
going to go to the White House to meet Trump?"
How very trivial.
It is just sports.
Forget about professional athletes. As Kurt Russell, in his portrayal of Herb Brooks in "Miracle
on Ice", said about the Soviets, "Their time is done."
Professional athletes going to the White House should be done. Over. Stopped forever.
Instead of professional athletes, please honor military veterans who put their lives on the line
for the country. They deserve the recognition every single day. The athletes get enough. They
don't need it. They don't appreciate it.
Honor the first responders who demonstrate amazing courage in trying to save the lives
of others. They get virtually no recognition. Professional athletes get too much.
OK, keep honoring college athletes and teams. But it's time to eighty-six paying homage
to the professional athletes. It's gotten out of control. It's become a circus. We have enough
of those in the country going on right now.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
During the height of the Jeremy Lin phenomenon in 2012, the guard of the New York
Knicks at the time, had a horrendous game, turning the ball over nine times in a loss to the
New Orleans Hornets.
An editor for ESPN's digital platform tagged the headline of the article about the Knicks
loss this way:
A Chink In The Armor.
Of course, social media caught fire with the perceived racial slur against Lin, who is Asian.
The suits at ESPN fired the person responsible for the headline, no questions asked.
Since that day five years ago, ESPN fired Rod Parker for wondering on-air if former
Washington Redskins quarterback RGIII was "a brother or a 'cornball ball.' Tony Kornheiser,
on his non-ESPN radio show, mocked the wardrobe of ESPN colleague Hannah Storm.
Kornheiser got suspended for two weeks.
On September 11, Jemele Hill, a co-anchor on the barely watched and highly-criticized
show, "SC6", went on social media to rant. The show Hill appears on is one that has
come to define what ESPN is all about: anchors screaming, yelling, trashing others, and
trying so, so hard to make the show about themselves with hopes of getting an Applebee's commercial.
Hill, who is African-American, took to Twitter, a place where the self-important and
self-absorbed go to tell the world how funny, smart, and fabulous they are in 140
characters or less. Hill took aim at our nation's president, Donald Trump.
"Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/other white supremacists."
The 'likes' to her tweet started to roll in from her 870,000 followers. We are a world
addicted to 'likes' and Hill is no different, so feeling all good about herself, she kept on
Donald Trump is a bigot. Glad you could live with voting for him. I couldn't, because I
cared about more than just myself.
Interesting. Hill seemed to care more about herself and being some kind of hero to the
masses than the company she was representing.
This isn't the first time Hill has been in the eye of a firestorm. In 2008, she wrote a column
for ESPN.com where she used an Adolph Hitler reference.
“Rooting for the Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim. It’s like hoping Gorbachev
would get to the blinking red button before Reagan.”
ESPN suspended her back then saying, “Jemele has been relieved of her writing and
on-air responsibilities for a period of time to reflect on the impact of her words”
Fast forward to 2017, that same ESPN employee goes on a Twitter rant about the president
that included this:
He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white,
he never would have been elected.
This is sadly ironic, since there are many in the television industry who believe Hill
was never qualified to host a television show on ESPN, much less at a station in Erie, Pa.
Some say she is not a good anchor since many of the shows she's been on at ESPN were
cancelled and the program she is now a part of is close to unwatchable.
And some feel that if she were not African-American, Hill would never have gotten to be
on SC6. But hey, it's just an opinion. Hill gave her opinion about the president, so I guess
it's all right for others in the industry to have theirs. That's what the First Amendment is all about,
Except that it wasn't all right when it came to Curt Schilling. Like Hill, he had been
suspended by ESPN for an inappropriate tweet which, ironically, included a reference to Hitler.
It's said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis.
How'd that go?" The text was superimposed of a red-tinted photo of Adolf Hitler.
Schilling got suspended for a tweet and Hill got sent home for using Hitler in a column that
appeared on ESPN.com. Fair enough, but I'm kind wondering what that kid who used the
"Chink In The Armor" reference was thinking about this after he got canned.
appeared on ESPN.com. Fair enough, but I'm kind wondering what that kid who used the
"Chink In The Armor" reference was thinking about this after he got canned.
Schilling, like Hill, is addicted to Twitter and they apparently cant' control their impulsiveness
when it comes to issues outside of sports. In 2015, at the height of the transgender
controversy in North Carolina, Schilling tweeted his opinion:
“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they
sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need
laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
That's his personal opinion and there are many people who believe Schilling was speaking
the truth, just as millions are supporting Hill for what they feel is the truth about the behavior
and ideology of the president.
ESPN didn't think that way about Schilling and fired him. "ESPN is an inclusive company
Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with
ESPN has been terminated.”
In the last of Hill's comments about the president of the United States, she believed that
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.
Like Schilling, Hill had an opinion. Unlike Schilling, Hill got to keep her job. And ESPN's
statement about Hill's comments were far different than the one concerning Schilling.
"Jemele has a right to her personal opinions, but not to publicly share them on a platform
that implies that she was in any way speaking on behalf of ESPN. She has acknowledged
that her tweets crossed that line and has apologized for doing so. We accept her apology."
Did ESPN forget about Hill's Hitler reference in an actual column published on ESPN.com
How come ESPN didn't accept the apology of Tony Kornheiser for his unflattering comments
about the wardrobe of Hannah Storm? If people thought Hill spoke the truth about the
president, then surely they had to think Kornheiser was spot on about Hannah's hideous choice
of professional clothing.
How come ESPN didn't accept the apology of Parker for asking if RGIII was a
'cornball brother', whatever the hell that means?
What about Schilling's right to a personal opinion?
Why didn't ESPN accept Linda Cohn's apology for her inappropriate comments about the
political climate and how it affected ESPN?
Why didn't ESPN accept the apology that young kid who mistakenly wrote the "A Chink
In The Armor" headline on, of all places, a mobile platform?
That's because when it comes to handing out discipline in society it all depends on who you
are and represent.
We all want believe the rules are the same for everybody in business and the punishment
for breaking them will be fair and consistent. But we all know that's not how it works in the
world, especially at ESPN.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Boston already has a place to go where everybody knows your name, now it
has a spot to visit if you want to bring some cheer to a special person in the city.
Café Martin opened over the summer and has become a destination place for friends
of John Martin, a videographer at NESN, who was diagnosed with ALS last October.
"It has been a big boost for me and my family," Martin said from his home in Newton.
"I had been seeing a lot of people for lunch, but when I started slowing down, we just
started encouraging people to stop by."
And they've stopped by in droves to Café Martin. Or I should say, Café Martin at Piazza Adonis.
the patio - and that tipped a hat to John's French background," said John's wife, Adrienne.
"And not wanting to be left out, I wanted a tip a hat to my Italian background, so my friend
decided it was a cafe at a 'piazza' which means square in Italian. My nickname in high school
was 'Adonis'. So, she coined the entire phrase 'Café Martin at Piazza Adonis' which is silly and
fun, much like us."
Thus, one of the hottest spots in Boston was born.
Athletes, celebrities, and friends of the Martin's have been visiting Café Martin at Piazza
Adonis, providing great comfort and a lot of laughs for JPM, as he is known to all his friends.
"It's been so fun and really meaningful that we are able to keep good energy flowing in our
home, in our lives and for John's spirits," she said.
The highlight of Café Martin so far was the appearance of former Red Sox great and hall of
famer, Pedro Martinez. Martinez dropped by Café Martin before pitching in Steve Buckley's
Old-Timers baseball game on August 17. Martin had covered Martinez during his spectacular
run with the Red Sox.
"Pedro was awesome," Martin said. "When he arrived, there were about 20 people chanting,
"Pedro! Pedro! Pedro! He was kissing and hugging everybody. It was really a great scene."
MLB Network followed Martinez on his trip to Café Martin and documented the beautiful
atmosphere and special friendship between Martin and Martinez.
Martin says he has a standing invitation to Bruins goalie Tukka Rask, whom he also
covered while working at NESN. "I texted him the other day. I'm hoping he shows up, too."
John's sister created the Café Martin sign that adorns his home. Longtime friend Bryan
Brennan produced the hashtag (#OnlyAtCafeMartin), and Facebook is now flooded with
pictures of all the friends who have visited Café Martin at Piazza Adonis.
"We are so lucky to have so many great people in our lives to help support us and keepJohn being John," Adrienne said. "We wanted create a social atmosphere for him because
it is one of the things he loves best, being with people, hanging out, talking and having fun."
This is love. This is friendship. This is Café Martin at Piazza Adonis. It's a beautiful thing.
Be sure to stop by. It's more than worth it.
If you'd like to support Café Martin at Piazza Adonis and JPM, please buy a t-shirt. Be sure
to hit this link:
100 percent of the proceeds will go to the John Martin Fund.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Since transitioning from sports into news, I've had the opportunity to cover numerous
snowstorms in New England. When snow is in the forecast, one of the first things thatcomes out of the news director's mouth is, "Let's get Devlin out there at 4:30 a.m." I
embrace the elements with driving rain, sleet, and snow pelting my face like darts
going into a board. It's the next best thing to covering a Super Bowl. (wink,wink)
When extreme weather breaks, The Weather Channel sends its Tom Brady out to cover it.
Jim Cantore is the meteorologist by which everyone is measured against. When I grow up
I want to be just like him. After covering more than 20 storms, I thought it was time
to see just how I measure up with the Sultan of Storms. Here's a tongue-in-cheek look
at the tale of the tape.
First job out of college:
Cantore The Weather Channel
Devlin The Boston Red Sox
Devlin About 23
Cantore $1.2 million a year
Devlin Not enough.
Cantore Covering the weather
Most famous hit:
Cantore Kicking a heckler live on-air.
Devlin Belting a home run in "Bull Durham."
Cantore Being overly dramatic all the time.
Devlin Being overly dramatic when the time is right.
Cantore Building a snowman in Syracuse
Devlin Finishing the Ironman in Lake Placid
Gets excited when:
Cantore Boston gets hit with an epic snowstorm.
Devlin When he can report on the weather from inside the car.
Most used lines on the air:
Cantore Stay inside for this one, it's going to be epic.
Devlin Hey, those national guys are always wrong. Get out and do what you have to
do, the world is not ending. No need to buy every loaf of bread at the market.
Cantore Can do bicep curls in his sleep.
Devlin Can dance to any song, anytime, and anywhere.
Cantore Report live from the middle of a Tsunami.
Devlin Report live from San Diego every single day.